The Rainiers are home tonight to start a six-game series against Sacramento as the team starts the final run towards the Triple-A West regular season title.
Tacoma has a one-game lead over Sugar Land and a two-game lead over Reno with 12 games to play before the 2021 regular season champion is determined. The title goes to the team with the best winning percentage in the entire ten-team league.
After the regular season ends on September 21, ten additional games will be played in the “Triple-A Final Stretch.” These games will not apply to the regular season championship and are going to be treated as a separate entity (more here).
The regular season title is what the Rainiers are after. Let’s take a look at the remaining schedules for the contenders.
TACOMA: six games vs. Sacramento (47-58), six games at El Paso (42-65)
Sacramento has been playing pretty well lately, going 9-7 over the last 16 games including a 3-3 split vs the Rainiers in August. El Paso has been struggling mightily, losing nine of the last 11 games, and has the worst record in the league.
SUGAR LAND: six at Round Rock (54-53), six vs. Albuquerque (46-61)
Round Rock has won five in a row, but they were against a thin El Paso club. Albuquerque was the worst team in the league in May, slowly improved and started playing well during the summer, but now has lost 15 of its last 20.
RENO: six at Las Vegas (58-50), six vs. Salt Lake (46-61)
Las Vegas was on a 13-2 tear before going to Sugar Land and dropping four of six. Las Vegas vs. Reno gets played up as something of an in-state rivalry so perhaps that will help. Salt Lake recently ended a franchise-record 11-game losing streak, but they have won three of four since it ended.
All three contenders play a pretty solid team starting tonight, and then face a bad opponent in the final six games. No one is ending with a 12-game homestand or road trip. The down-the-stretch schedules appear to be pretty equal.
YESTERDAY: The league was off yesterday. On Tuesday, Tacoma finished the Reno series with a 4-3 win over the Aces to secure a series win and move the team 20 games over .500 for the first time this season. The Rainiers had a bullpen game and got a big boost from Matthew Willrodt, who joined the club from Low-A Modesto and pitched 1.2 scoreless inning to earn the win in his Triple-A debut. Ray Kerr worked the ninth to pick up his first Triple-A save – in his hometown. The game was tied 2-2 in the sixth inning when Brian O’Keefe and Dillon Thomas hit back-to-back home runs.
TODAY: Sacramento (47-58) at Tacoma (64-44), 7:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Francisco Giants.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Dave Brundage.
SEASON SERIES: Tacoma leads, 11-7.
PITCHERS: RHP Sean Hjelle (1-3, 5.90) at RHP Asher Wojciechowski (0-1, 6.00)
ROSTER MOVES: On Tuesday the Rainiers placed reliever Aaron Fletcher on the injured list, and added reliever Matthew Willrodt from low-A Modesto.
HOT HITTERS: Kevin Padlo is 9-for-14 with four homers, seven runs, and seven RBI over the last three games… Jantzen Witte has gone 67-for-203 (.330) over his last 50 games… Donovan Walton has a seven-game hitting streak, and he has nine homers in his last 24 games… Jack Reinheimer has reached base in 25 straight games… Marcus Wilson has a five-game hitting streak, and he has gone 16-for-42 with three homers and ten walks over his last 12 games.
OPPONENT NEWS: Sacramento split a six-game home series against Salt Lake that included the franchise’s first nine inning no-hitter on Friday… Peter Maris, Mike Tauchman, and Will Toffey each have a six-game hitting streak going… former Rainier Braden Bishop hit two game-winning home runs – one a walk-off – when Tacoma and Sacramento split a six-game series August 19-24… Wyatt Mathisen was released by Tacoma on August 24 and signed with Sacramento just six days later.
BROADCAST: All games will be broadcast free on a live audio stream which is available right here.
Unfortunately, there is no traditional terrestrial radio station carrying the games at this time.
TRIPLE-A WEST SCOREBOARD: Follow all league games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.
STORIES YOU MIGHT LIKE:
- Seattle salvaged the Houston series by taking the final game yesterday, 8-5. Jose Marmolejos had a big hit.
- Ryan Divish checked in on Cal Raleigh.
- Matt Calkins has a column on the Mariners wild card chase.
- Interesting article in Baseball America on Julio Rodriguez and how he stacks up against other players who have hit .325 or higher in their minor league careers.
Listen to every home and away Tacoma Rainiers game for free HERE. You can also download the MiLB First Pitch app for a free and easy one-click listening experience at home, work or in your car. Watch an HD video broadcast of every game with an MiLB.TV subscription. Use code: RAINIERS to save $10 on an annual subscription.
About the Tacoma Rainiers
The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. The Rainiers are a member of the Triple-A West. Tacoma has been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.
The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found at WeRTacoma.com, or by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.